The Latest: Evidence speaks for Grim Sleeper's 10 victims

AP News
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Posted: May 02, 2016 7:58 PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on the Grim Sleeper trial (all times local):

4:53 p.m.

A lawyer defending the man accused in the "Grim Sleeper" serial killings says his client's DNA may be on many women because he was obsessed with sex, but that doesn't make him a murderer.

Attorney Seymour Amster told jurors in closing arguments Monday that the DNA of Lonnie Franklin Jr. could have been transmitted to the breasts of murder victims because he often gave women bras and other garments.

Franklin could face the death penalty if convicted in the slayings of a girl and nine young women.

Prosecutors say bullet evidence and DNA ties Franklin to killings spanning decades.

Amster compared government work in the case with a rancher who calls himself a marksman after drawing bullseyes around bullet holes in his barn.

He says prosecutors based their case on inferior forensic technology.

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1 p.m.

A Los Angeles prosecutor says the evidence pointing to Lonnie Franklin Jr. as the serial killer known as the "Grim Sleeper" speaks for the 10 victims he silenced.

Deputy District Attorney Beth Silverman said in closing arguments Monday that overwhelming DNA and firearms evidence shows Franklin is guilty of murder.

Franklin has pleaded not guilty in the slayings of one girl and nine young women, and the attempted murder of a woman who survived a gunshot and got away.

The killings in South Los Angeles were dubbed the work of the "Grim Sleeper" because of a 14-year break between 1985 and 2007 when bodies stopped appearing, but prosecutors believe his violence never ceased.

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3:39 a.m.

The "Grim Sleeper" serial killer trial is coming to a close in Los Angeles after months of testimony.

Closing arguments were scheduled to begin Monday morning in the trial of Lonnie David Franklin Jr. He's charged with killing nine women and a 15-year-old girl between 1985 and 2007. They were shot or strangled and their bodies dumped in alleys and trash bins in South Los Angeles and nearby areas.

The killer was nicknamed the "Grim Sleeper" because of a 14-year gap between some attacks.

Prosecutors allege that gun or DNA evidence connects Franklin to the killings but his defense lawyers argue that some DNA samples taken from victims or their clothing didn't match Franklin.

Franklin also is charged with the attempted murder of a woman who was shot and pushed from a car in 1988. She identified Franklin in court as her attacker.